Paper & Ink

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George Schaub Posted: Jul 31, 2012 Published: Jun 01, 2012 1 comments
Having worked with numerous types and brands of “metallic” surface papers I have some expectations as to what they can deliver. Metallic is a bit of a misnomer as these papers have a glossy surface on a paper (here acid-free) base with an opalescent sheen diffused throughout the emulsion coating. This gives a spark and edge to a print that glossy shares, but there is an extra kick in the paper surface that works quite well with some images, and not so well with others. It is a particular choice, one that should be part of your printing arsenal but hardly dominated by it.

I generally feel it is best to ignore marketing copy, but sometimes it’s fun to see how folks spin their yarn. Moab’s has always been somewhat transcendent, here telling us that the surface is “reminiscent of the ultra-smooth and slick sandstone surface of the famous bike trail that loops through the desert plains of Moab…” Well, never having done the loop that may well be so, but if so the bike’s tires better have crampons, since this surface is quite slick. What is more to the point is that the copy makes a more straightforward claim that “black-and-white images shine on this new paper producing deep blacks and ultra-bright highlights.” That, and other matters, was the subject of my printing tests.

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Jack Neubart Posted: Jul 01, 2007 0 comments

With printer manufacturers introducing better and better printers, particularly affordable high-end dye-based inkjets and consumer-oriented pigment-ink printers, all media manufacturers have lined up to bring us products that will expand the horizons of these output devices. Of particular interest to me was one company's refillable ink system designed for a consumer...

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Tom Fuller Posted: Apr 01, 2000 0 comments

It seems the faster digital imaging technology leaps forward, the stronger the rally becomes for traditional cameras and sensitized materials. Regular Shutterbug readers are aware of the new interest in rangefinder 35mm cameras--the last one I owned...

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Frances E. Schultz Posted: Sep 01, 2003 0 comments

It's always fun to try out a new photographic printing paper, especially when it turns out to be as versatile as the new Paterson Acugrade Warmtone. It is a medium weight, Variable Contrast (VC), Resin-Coated (RC) paper with a semimatte, pearl...

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Jack Neubart Posted: Mar 01, 2002 0 comments

Everyone involved in digital printing cannot stress strongly enough the importance of using good-quality inks and media, especially when it comes to printing pictures of true photographic quality. In the case of ink jet printers, we begin, where a choice for our printer indeed exists, by choosing the...

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Roger W. Hicks & Frances E. Schultz Posted: Feb 01, 2011 1 comments

In our recent photokina reports (January, 2011, issue) we covered products and trends at the show. Here’s a brief follow-up on some film and paper processing items and information on friends old and new, present and gone.

In our photokina reports we mentioned Kodak’s new film, of course, and Harman’s Direct Positive paper, and...

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George Schaub Posted: Jan 01, 2007 0 comments

A number of companies showed new inkjet papers, and we may be seeing the beginning of some debate about the best coatings for the best quality images. Photographic papers have been using a baryta base since the 19th century. This coating creates a bright white paper with a smooth surface, and is now used for inkjet papers as well. The folks at Innova disagree, claiming that...

Frances E. Schultz Posted: Jan 01, 2007 0 comments

Walking through some of the halls at photokina, you could be forgiven for thinking digital photography has taken over. But look again and you can find plenty of silver halide waiting to be discovered: new films, chemicals and papers, updated enlargers, a new cold light source, and a new archival washer. Old friends, companies like Paterson Photographic, Condor, Tetenal, and...

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Joe Farace Posted: Nov 01, 2000 0 comments

The simplest and easiest way to change or improve the output from your ink jet printer is to change the kind of paper or media you're using. That's it! You don't have to worry about swapping cartridges or getting your hands dirty with messy ink...

Robert E. Mayer Posted: Jun 01, 2008 1 comments

As would be anticipated in this ever more dominant digital world, there were very few new offerings from silver-based film and paper firms, and even less for the conventional darkroom. Here are the few items I did locate:

Fuji has the new Fujicolor Crystal Archive Preferred color reversal RA-4 process paper that's said to offer vivid color reproduction, brilliant...

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Jon Canfield Posted: Jun 01, 2008 0 comments

There may not have been many new printer announcements at PMA this year, but that certainly didn't affect the paper vendors from going all out with new products. It's clear that old is new again, as many of the surfaces shown mimic those of traditional darkroom days. If you're a lover of fiber-based papers, this is a great year for you with plenty of new options...

Jon Canfield Posted: Jun 01, 2010 1 comments

There are a couple of new printers aimed at the event photographer market, and there are plenty of media options as well for snapshot to fine art printers. And, the photo book industry is taking off—there were more book printing options available than ever before, both for the portrait/wedding photographer with companies like Fujifilm, HP, Kodak, and Lucidiom all having offerings in both...

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George Schaub Posted: Sep 01, 2008 2 comments

Like most everything else these days the cost of "art" inkjet printing paper seems to be going through the roof, so printmakers are seeking alternatives without sacrificing quality. The perceived issue with some so-called "third-party" papers (those that do not carry the printer maker's brand, thus lack a profile installed with the original start up...

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George Schaub Posted: Dec 12, 2012 2 comments
While weight is just one measure of a paper’s resilience and usefulness for fine art printing, it can also have an effect on how that paper is handled, depending on the printer. In the case of Red River’s Polar Matte Magna, which is a 96 lb (320 gsm) stock, it means working with individual sheet feeding rather than with a stack loader in almost every printer you might have. This feed-through also limits the printers that can make use of this nice surface—those without a single feed option need not apply, as well as, according to Red River’s notes, HP printers with front feed paper trays (which have also proven problematic with other heavyweight surfaces).
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George Schaub Posted: Dec 19, 2011 Published: Nov 01, 2011 1 comments
There’s no question that glossy and satin or pearl-type surfaces give an image more “pop,” but on the other hand you might want to use a matte surface to enhance the look and feel of certain images that rely less on pop than a quieter mood. It could be boiled down to a simple rule of thumb: for rich, high-saturation images you might use a glossy or semigloss; for more subtle colors it might be better to use a matte or satin. In the black-and-white realm it’s more of a toss-up but I think the same general rule applies. For example, for architectural images of adobe or stucco wall buildings I use matte; for glass and steel skyscrapers I choose glossy. Notice that I always modify the recommendations with “might”: if you really get into papers for printing you’ll make your own judgments. But there’s no denying that surface decisions play a role in overall effectiveness of the image.

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